Posted April 15, 2014
Last month a new study said more than $640 billion in energy infrastructure investments will be needed in the U.S. over the next two decades. Needed are pipelines, pumps and other infrastructure to keep pace with expected increases in domestic oil and natural gas production, the ICF International report said – much of it coming from energy reserves found in shale and other tight-rock formations through advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. ICF:
“Sufficient infrastructure goes hand in hand with well-functioning markets. Insufficient infrastructure can constrain market growth and strand supplies, potentially leading to increased price volatility and reduced economic activity.”
Posted March 12, 2014
In a post last week we discussed the way the Ukrainian crisis is focusing a number of U.S. leaders on the potential foreign policy impacts of surging U.S. energy production. With its vast natural gas reserves, the U.S. could be a leader in the global market for liquefied natural gas (LNG), if we took the steps to make that happen – starting with government approval of permits to build LNG export terminals.
Unfortunately, that process is slow. Although the Energy Department has approved six applications since 2011, more than 20 still are pending. And the U.S. isn’t the only country eyeing the global LNG market. More than 60 non-U.S. LNG export projects are planned or under construction. In a number of ways, it’s a race to the rewards stemming from natural gas abundance.
Posted March 11, 2014
For American workers the more-than-five-year wait for the Keystone XL pipeline is personal. Make that very personal.
During a press conference with other union leaders and API President and CEO Jack Gerard, Laborers International Union of North America President Terry O’Sullivan said the construction sector is saddled with 12.8 percent unemployment, with nearly 1 million out of work. So every one of the 42,000 jobs the U.S. State Department estimates the Keystone XL would create during its construction phase is highly prized.
Posted February 12, 2014
The United States is home to some of the world's largest natural gas deposits and supplies have flooded the market over the last five years, erasing concerns about dwindling output.
But the coldest winter in decades has drained stockpiles quicker than ever, forced rationing, and pushed prices to all-time highs, revealing the difficulties of storing and transporting fuel across the continent.
Posted February 11, 2014
U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, addressing a propane shortage currently affecting millions of consumers in the Northeast and Midwest at the National Association of State Energy Officials annual policy outlook conference last week:
“There’s a lot of day-to-day issues to be concerned about but we also want to keep this in a broader context. What we’re seeing played out is just one example of where our energy infrastructure isn’t quite ready for the task we have today.”
At the same conference, Roy Willis, president and CEO of the Propane Education Research Council, called propane the “canary in the coalmine” for the nation’s energy infrastructure needs. That canary certainly is singing out.
Posted February 5, 2014
Newsworthy today: Former U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar, speaking at the North American Prospect Expo in Houston, notes that hydraulic fracturing is, in part, the reason America is enjoying an energy boom that is making the country more energy secure and energy self-sufficient. Salazar:
“We know that, from everything we’ve seen, there’s not a single case where hydraulic fracking has created an environmental problem for anyone. We need to make sure that story is told.”
Salazar also said the Keystone XL pipeline is a ‘win-win” for America:
“At the end of the day, we are going to be consuming that oil. So is it better for us to get the oil from our good neighbor from the north, or to be bringing it from some place in the Middle East?”
Posted February 4, 2014
Free the Keystone XL Pipeline, Mr. President
Los Angeles Times: Welcome to the "year of action." In last week's State of the Union address, the president vowed to do whatever he has to help the economy, even if that means working around Congress: "What I offer tonight is a set of concrete, practical proposals to speed up growth, strengthen the middle class and build new ladders of opportunity into the middle class. Some require congressional action, and I'm eager to work with all of you. But America does not stand still, and neither will I. So wherever and whenever I can take steps without legislation to expand opportunity for more American families, that's what I'm going to do."
The White House has touted the fact the president has a "phone and a pen" and he's not afraid to use them.
The president also vowed to cut red tape, and not for the first time. In 2013's State of the Union, he insisted that "my administration will keep cutting red tape and speeding up new oil and gas permits." And in 2012: "In the next few weeks, I will sign an executive order clearing away the red tape that slows down too many construction projects."
Read more: http://lat.ms/1eRaGFu
Posted February 3, 2014
The Keystone XL pipeline now is in the “national interest determination” phase of a long process to gain federal approval for construction. Having cleared its fifth State Department environmental review, the project is to be judged by on whether its construction serves the U.S. national interest. Last week’s State Department report listed the key factors that go into that determination:
To make this decision (i.e., the National Interest Determination), the Secretary of State, through the Department, considers many factors, including energy security; environmental, cultural, and economic impacts; foreign policy; and compliance with relevant state and federal regulations.
Let’s examine some of these. First, energy security: Would construction of the full Keystone XL pipeline further the energy security of the United States?
Posted January 29, 2014
Energy issue positives from President Obama’s State of the Union address Tuesday night:
Crediting surging domestic oil and natural gas production for adding jobs, creating economic growth and revitalizing the manufacturing sector.
Recognizing that because of domestic output the U.S. “is closer to energy independence than we have been in decades.”
Posted January 27, 2014
Free America’s Energy Future: Drop Washington’s Counterproductive Oil and Natural Gas Ban
Forbes (Doug Bandow): For years people have been told to expect a dismal energy future. But because of rapid free market innovation, Americans now can look forward to a future of energy abundance. The U.S. could even become a leading exporter—if Washington gets out of the way.
Successive presidents and Congresses imposed controls, approved subsidies, created bureaucracies, and issued proclamations. The most common commitment was to achieve “energy independence.” But President Ronald Reagan set the stage for today’s energy advances by unilaterally eliminating oil price controls and pushing Congress to drop natural gas price and use restrictions.
His successors, however, have regressed back to expensive social engineering. George W. Bush declared war on the common light bulb. Barack Obama poured billions into the coffers of well-connected alternative energy firms, several of which, such as Solyndra, have gone bankrupt. And everyone continued to support the authoritarian Gulf kleptocracies, led by Saudi Arabia, to ensure access to imported oil.
Yet an energy revolution is underway. Observed Mark P. Mills, an Adjunct Fellow at the Manhattan Institute, “The game-changing technologies that have emerged involve hydrocarbons: natural gas, oil, and coal.” Major advances have been made in locating and extracting resources—such as horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—and operating in more distant and hostile environments.
Read more: http://onforb.es/1f7kRXN